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The Australian National University

Mr Simon Cann-Evans

Position: PhD candidate in Anthropology


Thesis title: "Learning to walk before we run". What is Good Design: Lessons for Practitioners and Policy Makers in International Development
The literature on international development (aid) is being heavily influenced through the current focus on “development effectiveness”. Significant work is being renewed in the area of activity monitoring and evaluation, however, very little research is or has been undertaken in the area of activity design. Is this a case of learning to run before we can walk?

The literature regarding evaluation is consistent in recognising that evaluation will typically be “easier”, and activities more effective, if they start well, rather than needing to be re-designed on the run. Accordingly this thesis aims to provide evidence into what the current processes are for undertaking activity design, where the evidence is drawn from, is this better practice, and how does this all tie in with results on the ground (development effectiveness).

This research is complimented by my other research interests and experiences concerning issues of: development monitoring and evaluation, quantitative and qualitative research methods, cross cultural communication, institutional analysis, and development procurement.

My research interests are not restricted to a particular country or region, though my PhD case studies will be undertaken in Indonesia from 2009-2011. I have ongoing practical associations concerning South East Asia, Australia, and the Pacific in particular Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.


Updated: 17 November 2010/ Responsible Officer:  Head of School / Page Contact:  Web Publisher